Hi everyone,

I work in the UK and wanted to understand a bit more about how Campaign Monitor tracks recipient activities.

My main concern are cookies - the new(ish) ePrivacy Directive sets out requirements in respect of the use of “cookies

davidaf davidaf, 6 years ago

Hi TJ,

We track recipient activities two ways: via a tiny tracking image embedded in the HTML or via link clicks. We don't use cookies in the HTML emails to track recipient activity at all.

The Campaign Monitor Blog – HTML email smarts to go with your good looks
emma, 5 years ago

This has been brought up a bit more in the email industry in the last week or so. Even though everything is not clear cut on how it is applied to email marketing, the rules are for 'cookies and similar technologies for storing information', which the tiny tracking images/web beacons are.

Do you have any more details on how the web beacons work in Campaign Monitor and what they are used for/what their capabilities are, so that we can request our clients update their privacy policy accordingly?

Thank you,

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 5 years ago

Hi emma, welcome to the forums. Web beacons/tracking pixels themselves can't gather and store information locally in the same way that cookies can, so that's something to keep in mind.

In regards to how they work, it's fairly simple. We automatically add a 1x1px hidden image to HTML campaigns at send time. When a recipient's email client receives an email campaign, it makes a request to Campaign Monitor's servers for the 1x1px image, alongside requests for other images. This request includes a 'user agent string', which tells Campaign Monitor what client the request is coming from.

Based on this request, we can determine 1) that the email has been opened and 2) which email client the open has occurred in. This information is used to calculate open rates and email client usage respectively in our campaign reports.

Thanks, emma! If you have any questions about this process, be sure to let us know :)

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emma, 5 years ago

Thanks Ros, that's what I expected, just wanted to make sure. :-)

Unfortunately we have to classify the web beacons as cookies (even though they don't store data), because the ICO has...

The Regulations apply to cookies and also to similar technologies for storing information. This could include, for example, Local Shared Objects (commonly referred to as “Flash Cookies"), web beacons or bugs (including transparent or clear gifs).

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 5 years ago

Hi Emma, thank you for clarifying. Let me know if there's anything else I can help out with here. :)

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